A Tapestry of Prairie Life

In Greenfield, Iowa, the Sidey family paper celebrates its centennial. Can rural culture -- and the values it nourishes for America -- survive another century?

A new sign in stately Old English letters has been hung up on the worn red brick building, the leaky roof has been repaired, and the staff has thumbed gingerly through crumbling back issues, gathering fragments of history to print again. The Adair County Free Press of Greenfield, Iowa, is just about ready for its 100th birthday next week. Same newspaper, same family of editors, no sellout to a chain, no fortunes made or lost, circulation steady at 3,200 in a county of 9,500 and a town of 2,200. The back issues form a tapestry of small events, a century of...

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